Shared journeys: facts and strories of migration in the 21th century

This is a webhome for the “Shared journeys” social campaign. It is an introduction to a three-year awareness project, “Shared Journeys – Facts and Stories on Migration in the 21st Century”, which aims to support a more open, inclusive and calm approach to migration and migrants. The project is being implemented in eight European countries, and the leading partner of the project is the largest Estonian organization engaged in development cooperation, humanitarian aid and world education, MTÜ Mondo.

Migration is neither good nor bad, it is simply the reality in which we live. Our aim is to invite young people to discuss this issue, to gather knowledge and to notice the opportunities that migration brings, as well as the challenges to our society. The project focuses on raising the awareness of young people in eight European countries through a variety of activities – we involve young journalists to develop balanced and fact-based media content and multipliers, including teachers, who carry out global migration education activities. Reaching young people through social media is an integral part of the project, which helps to open up the topic of migration to young people in a more personal and direct way and to simply see another person in the migrant with whom to identify.

The first social media campaign “Shared Journeys” opens the migration stories of five young people. Active young Youtuber Evert Poom and social media marketer Kristjaana Mere share their emigration experience and reveal why they returned to Estonia. The stories of coming to live in Estonia are shared by three young Estonian-speaking people from different backgrounds – a professional footballer Zakaria Beglarišvili, Maria Angelina Lasprilla, who has lived in Estonia for 12 years and works in the technology company Pipedrive, and Narong Lasuai from Thailand, who runs a restaurant in Estonia.

Why is migration important and how does it affect us?

Mankind originates from Africa, where about 200,000 years ago people started to spread all over the world to places we now know as Europe, Asia, Australia and America. Today, with the help of the rapid development of technology, migration has become a daily companion for us. We travel in order to broaden our horizons, get to know different cultures, languages and people, study or work, start a family. However, people are also moving away from their homes due to wars, terrorism, climate or natural disasters. Contrary to popular belief, most people move within the borders of their home country, which exceeds the number of people moving between different countries by four times. This is also the case in Estonia, where people move mainly from countryside to cities.

Migration affects people personally as well as socially and it is often the topic in public debates. Migration diversifies culture, economy and people’s worldview, giving them an opportunity to find similarities in each other.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MIGRATION IN ESTONIA

There are 31,980 citizens of the European Union living in Estonia in 2020 on the basis of temporary residence permits. A further 30,917 people from outside of the EU are also living in the country at present on temporary residence permits.

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Of the residence permits issued in recent years, the majority are residence permits which have been issued for working in the country. However, permits issued for studying in Estonia and to reunite families make up around a quarter of all residence permits.

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Temporary residents who are citizens of third countries can apply for a long-term, open-ended residence permit once they have been living in Estonia for at least five years. In order to do so, they must be able to provide evidence of income, they must have health insurance and they must have passed the state exam in Estonian at least at the B1 level. There were 157,681 people living in Estonia on long-term residence permits in 2019.

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In the period from 2015-2019 a total of 5086 people became Estonian citizens.

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In the last five years, the highest numbers of people who have started living in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit have been from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, India and the United States.

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It is possible to come to Estonia to work temporarily with a visa or on a visa-free basis.

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More and more people have become multinationals, i.e. they alternatingly live, work and study in a number of countries.

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In the period from 2015-2019, the total number of Estonians emigrating from the country (39,261) exceeded that of those returning to the country (38,822). However, the number of returnees has been higher than the number of those leaving overall since 2017.

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The majority of people who migrate or return to Estonia are aged 15-49.

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The vast majority of immigrants and returnees to Estonia settle in Tallinn or the surrounding area. Tartu, Ida-Viru and Pärnu counties are also popular.

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Estonians mostly emigrate to Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Sweden and tend to be male rather than female.

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Their average age is 39.

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Of these migrants, 52% are men and 48% are women.

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Contrary to popular belief, the majority of refugees and migrants travel no further than neighbouring countries.

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The overall percentage of global migration has remained relatively stable since 1960. Migrants account for 2.75%-3.25% of the world’s population.

Migration stories

Migration stories

Narong Lasuai
Narong Lasuai
Zakaria Beglarišvili
Zakaria Beglarišvili
Kristjaana Mere
Kristjaana Mere
Maria Angelina Lasprilla
Maria Angelina Lasprilla
Evert Poom
Evert Poom
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